The fifth edition of the ABU TV Song Festival is proving to be the weakest to date in terms of the number of participating countries. Despite the news that Mongolia will debut in the contest this year, and that Thailand will return after a one year absence, today’s announcement is a bitter-sweet one with four countries withdrawing from the edition. The full list of participants welcomes South Korea (KBS), Vietnam (VTV), Mongolia (MNB), Japan (NHK), host broadcasters Indonesia (TVRI), Hong Kong (TVB), Thailand (NBT), the Maldives (PSM), Macau (TDM), and Kazakhstan (JSC) to the island of Bali where this year’s contest will be held.

Ten countries will participate this October meaning that India, Malaysia, Afghanistan and Turkey have withdrawn from the contest. Turkey hosted last year’s edition in Istanbul where twelve countries took part. The very first edition held in South Korea back in 2012 played host to eleven countries, with a peak figure of fifteen countries taking part in 2013. Thirty six countries are eligible to participate, fifteen of which are yet to make their debut appearances.

This year is the second time Mongolia have announced their debut participation in the contest after confirming in 2012, but eventually withdrawing prior to the hosting of the event.

Source: Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union

The ABU TV Song Festival is an annual showcase of talent across the members of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union. Founded in 2012 the non-competitive event is held as part of the annual ABU General Assembly. No rules exist regarding when a song has to have been released by, it is a showcase of the countries representative’s talent and music. Past host countries include Turkey, Macau and South Korea.